I've heard that Mr. Bradbury recently completed his own screenplay for a new FAHRENHEIT 451 film. If so, I hope a director is found for it. And I'm sure that Mr. Bradbury included in his script the Mechanical Hound; I would love to see that on the screen (Just think: you secretly hold a book in your hand in your own home and start to read it, but some hidden eye-motion detector in your house sees your eyes moving continually side-to-side and a signal is relayed to some sleeping mechanical beast in a fire station; it slowly opens it's eyes, then suddenly stands up as if alerted to a noise, and takes off running to--your house! Scary!!)
The director I would like to see make FAHRENHEIT 451 is Frank Darabont, who directed THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (remember the Warden's threat to have a "book barbecue"?) and THE GREEN MILE. In SHAWSHANK, he showed he can tell a story about someone who has very little freedom. The movie takes place in a prison, but, in a sense, so does FAHRENHEIT; it's just that it FAHRENHEIT the prison is the size of an entire country--or a world. In THE GREEN MILE, Darabont showed he can deal with fantasy elements.
A new F451 movie would be great, considering how crappy movies like, say, "Equilibrium" were.
What is this, a Mechanical Hound Fan Club? (See other posts on the subject.)
I am recoverying from surgery and was dreaming something about a Ray Bradbury story, then I awoke and turned on the TV to the AMC channel and what was on but Fahrenheit 451! So I wathced it again for the 10th time. It is truly a terrible movie, all drab and cold with no color at all. It lacks all of the interesting features of the story, the ear radio, the hound and even the chase at the end is different. I hope the story is filmed in its original condidtion next time. It is such a good story as is. I did like the walking people as books at the end of the film. I think Ray might keep that in a revision if he did one. I think it was in the play we saw in LA last year.
Ray really praised the director, Truffaut, for supplying that ending; said it made him weep every time. Both the director and the main actor died the same week, and people KNOWING my UTTER devotion for Ray, teased me that "bad things come in threes," which I did not find at all funny.
Man, that would be great to see a well done movie of Fahrenheit 451. I had to force myself to watch the old one, it was just aweful. It would be a challenge to recreat the surreal feel of the book, but if they can pull it off!
I hate to say this, since I am probably in an extreme minority, but I thought the 1966 Truffaut film of FAHRENHEIT 451 was excellent, and not without color or emotion. And I thought Oskar Werner was just as excellent as Montag; he showed how Montag's seriousness about the world, shown while he is on the job, was what turned him around to the truth about things.
Nevertheless, I want to see Mr. Bradbury's own screenplay made into a new film!!
Yes, F451 -the original- is a classic in its own way. However, the time has arrived for a major effort on the remake. Spare no expense, follow the plot, capture the feeling of the techno-phobic driven characters, add the special effects (as done so well, I thought, in Minority Report), and, of course, get the mechanical dog into the chase. Faber needs to conjure, Clarisse needs to be bright-eyed, energetic, and truly romantic (a unknown starlit), the machines need to be a part of the terror Montag helps to produce as the story opens, the railcars need to overwhelm all thought to and from their destinations.
Everything needs to feel urgent on the part of the firemen. Every book is the enemy. Every breath released is a paranoid experience. When Montag starts to shed his skin, that dog needs to be sniffing closeby, clicking, blinking, and checking out his psychological and molecular changes. He's got all the wires to read perspiration, eye dialations, and nervous impulses. Let him go, unleash him, and let Montag earn his place in the history of great characters on the screen. For he is already one of the great characters on the written page.
The escape across the river needs to be paid its dues, also. (Re-read the final chapter.) Poetry, images, transcendental detail, dreamlike, and shear artistry on RB's part.
I did like the (movie's) final scene when the young boy reads to the old man as the snow falls peacefully. The youth finally has the book memorized, the man has died, and the story ends. Great moment.
But the book is filled with great moments. The original movie, for its time, did ok with what was available - maybe!
Now, F451 is a big success just waiting to be recaptured to film. With all of the remakes and fantasy fanfare in recent years, get to it Hollywood! Can't you hear Capt. Beatty spewing out his heresy, or is it truth?! The sweet voice of Clarisse, a siren, enticing so gently the unexpecting fireman. Mildred shaking out more pills, more loss, more self-centered treachery in setting up Guy.
The web says 2005. Is no news, bad news in considering the chances of this getting done?
For anyone who has yet to read the story, here is an enticement. Page 1, 1st 2 lines:
"It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed."
....don't stop now! Hurry! Get a copy and read on!
This link used to work, and then it sometimes works, and now...??
But it had the "entire" book of 'Fahrenheit 451' on it... Maybe it gets shut down because it has something to do with copyrights and such..but you'll find out if it's working by clicking on: http://www.amcen.lunn.ru/library/text/bradbury/451.pdf
Elron, Russian fellow who posts here now and then, has a Web-Site with lots of Bradbury stories on it... This one steered here by Philnic... http://www.raybradbury.ru/cgi-bin/page.cgi?014
Hope one of these links works....
I have read the book many times, but I have never seen the movie. Actually, for a 14 year old, I think I did pretty good understanding the book. It may have taken a few dozen time reading it, but I still did good. But one thing I never understood: How does the captain know all of those quotes and all the other stuff? Did he himself have books stashed away?
The Captain did indeed have books, in fact, a library.... So he knew first hand how they could cause conflicts, and mental anguish, and thus the need to eliminate them...
By the way:
W E L C O M E !!
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 01-29-2004).]
In fact, I think the Captain told Montag it wasn't illegal to have the books, just to read them. Bradbury also spoke of a revelation which came to him years later concerning why Beatty became such an anti-book fanatic as to become Captain of the firemen. He said he was going to insert it into a revised edition sometime, but I don't know if he ever did.
I think this new material was incorporated into the play of F451, where Montag visits the chief's house and sees his vast library of books. I seem to recall that the chief had some bad life experiences, and turned to books for solace, and found they contained nothing that could ease his pain and grief. He believes that by keeping the books and not reading them, he is emasculating them, robbing them of the power they might otherwise have.
Bradbury also wrote an essay about this, which I think was included as an afterword to a 1980s edition of the F451 novel, and also included in Zen and the Art of Writing.
(This is all from memory, as I don't have the books around me to check my facts.)
Montag states, the Capt. wanted to die. His life, no matter how in control of others, was devoid of hope. This is the final human virtue that keeps spirit alive in a person.
These comments are in the "Afterword" of more recent editions: "Don't you see the beauty, Montag? I never read them. Not one book, not one chapter, not one page, not one paragraph. I do play with ironies, don't I? To have thousands of books and never crack one, to turn your back on the lot and say: No. It's like having a house full of beautiful women and, smiling, not touching...one. ...These books die on the shelves. They are no better than dust.
The Capt continues and refers to his emptiness (life, love, dreams, deaths, murder, an onslaught of disease). The pages he onced consumed as a young boy, now were empty. "No solace, peace, harbor, true love. no bed, no light."
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 01-30-2004).]
Thanks for your posting on this. It adds a lot to clarifying the question originally presented...
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